Album of Daoist and Buddhist Themes: Kings of Hells: Leaf 27


Album of Daoist and Buddhist Themes: Kings of Hells: Leaf 27


Part of a set. See all set records

Album, ink on paper

Sheet: 34 x 38.4 cm (13 3/8 x 15 1/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund in honor of Dr. Ju-hsi Chou and Gift of various donors to the department of Asian Art (by exchange) 2004.1.27



This leaf is part of a set depicting the Ten Kings of Hell. The theme transforms the Indian Buddhist view of judgment after death into a typical Chinese bureaucratic process. Before being permitted to transmigrate into the next life, a soul is tried by 10 different kings in a process that lasts three years.

Each king is assisted by scribes and officials who report on the good and bad deeds upon which a verdict is given. In the foreground, demons conduct punishments. The inscription here refers to the 12 functionaries assisting the king.

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